Europol, together with law enforcement agencies in several countries, detained 79 people suspected of online fraud with airline tickets.
According to the Europol press service, on November 18-22 this year, at more than 200 airports around the world was held the twelfth international multidisciplinary operation Global Airline Action Days (GAAD). GAAD’s goal is to combat the illegal purchase of airline tickets over the Internet using compromised bank card information.
“The Global Airline Action Day operation is an excellent example of how collaboration between the agencies as well as the public and private sectors serves to tackle and prevent crime such as credit card fraud. The operation was underpinned by professional commitment and mutual support across borders between national, regional and international police organizations”, — said Paul Stanfield, INTERPOL Director, Organized & Emerging Crime.
During the operation, 165 suspicious transactions were identified and 79 people were suspected of purchasing tickets using stolen, compromised or fake bank card information. A number of cases were related to illegal immigration – some detainees were found to have fake or alien identification cards.
“Airline fraud has no borders. This operation was the culmination of many months of careful planning, in which Europol, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and border authorities, airlines and credit companies took part. It is a great example of how, through joint efforts, a significant contribution can be made to the fight against criminal syndicates operating across borders”, – said Europol’s Deputy Executive Director of Operations, Wil van Gemert.
According to Europol, a fraudulent scheme involving payment for goods using compromised bankcard data is gaining great popularity in Europe. In addition to airline tickets, scammers use stolen data to rent cars and pay for hotel accommodation. Airlines are one of the most frequent victims of such fraud as their losses reach $ 1 billion per year.